The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) proposed creating a suspected sex offender registry in a statement Tuesday in efforts to control backlash over sex abuse within the organization.
BSA responded to Tuesday allegations from lawyers that 200 Boy Scout leaders sexually abused minors. The law firms of Greg Gianforcaro and Jeff Anderson & Associates revealed the Boy Scouts’ infamous “perversion files” mentioned the accused leaders. These files contained allegations of sexual abuse that the Boy Scouts of America kept secret.
The organization suggested creating a national registry for suspected sex offenders as a way of combating sexual abuse within youth organizations. (RELATED: Law Firms Asking Boy Scouts To Name 200 Leaders Accused Of Sexual Abuse)
“We fully support and advocate for the creation of a national registry overseen by a governmental entity, similar to the national sex offender registry, of those who are suspected of child abuse or inappropriate behavior with a child, and thus allowing all youth-serving organizations to share and access such information,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We are eager to share the information contained in our database with other youth serving organizations,” said Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for the Boy Scouts of America in prepared remarks provided to TheDCNF.
“Our vision, and one shared by others working hard in this space to protect youth, is that all youth serving organizations would be required to track and document those adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry.”
Eisner said that this registry would be similar to the Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public Website in that their mutual goal is “the creation of a registry for those who seek to work with children.”
“This would reduce the risk that potential abusers could gain access to children by moving or going to another youth-serving organization after being removed,” Eisner said. “We are working with other groups and organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the CDC to see how we can assist in this critical development. We’ve also called on Congress to partner in these efforts and to develop legislative mechanisms to facilitate this national database into a reality.”
The statement also claims that the Boy Scouts of America have never knowingly employed anyone accused of sexual abuse. However, Anderson argues that this is not the case.
“All the pledges and promises from the Boy Scouts of America fall short,” Anderson said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The reality is, they have to identify the names of thousands of offenders from their secret files. The Boy Scouts need to come clean and inform the communities who these people are, what they did, and where they are today.”
Anderson insists that failure to release the names of the thousands of accused indicates that The Boy Scouts of America fall short in protecting children. “Through a simple keystroke, they have the ability today to release the names and locations of every offender that sexually abused children. Absent that, any effort, promise, pledge, practice is falling short of protecting kids. This is a time for action and truth, not a time for excuses, promises or policies.”
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